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Robot Janitors Are Coming To Mop Floors At a Walmart Near You

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: The world’s largest retailer is rolling out 360 autonomous floor-scrubbing robots in some of its stores in the U.S. by the end of the January, it said in a joint statement with Brain Corp., which makes the machines. The autonomous janitors can clean floors on their own even when customers are around, according to the San Diego-based startup. Brain’s robots are equipped with an array of sensors that let them gather and upload data.

Brain doesn’t make its own hardware, focusing instead on developing software — BrainOS — that endows machines with autonomy in closed environments. At first, the machines were need to be operated by humans, who “teach” the layout of the space that needs cleaning. After that the robots can perform the task autonomously. The robots, which look like a cross between a miniature Zamboni and a motorized wheel chair, already scrub floors at airports in Seattle, San Diego, Boston and Miami, Brain Chief Executive Office Eugene Izhikevich said. Brain last month unveiled a smaller version of the machine developed jointly with SoftBank’s robotics arm and aimed at the Japanese market.

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